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Question: Slow Graphics Performance MacOS High Sierra

Am I the only one that witnessing horribly slow graphics performance

and high CPU usage in 10.13?


Any solutions to speed things up?


Youtube videos 1080p are jumpy

Quicklook of 3D models are horrible

System UI animations are jumpy

Very high CPU usage ("windowserver")

VMs are consuming 2X CPU as they did in 10.12

Had a Kernel panic twice already


Did Apple's graphics firmware/driver change destroy the performance of older models??

I can't trust the "updates" anymore. Both on MacOs and iOS sides. They are killing performance.



Using

2.3 GHz Intel Core i7

16 GB 1600 MHz DDR3

NVIDIA GeForce GT 750M 2 GB

Intel Iris Pro 1536 MB

MacBook Pro with Retina display, High Sierra

Posted on Nov 1, 2017 10:43 AM

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Question marked as Solved
Answer:
Answer:

Temporary "fix" didn't work in my case. Good suggestion though, and I hope it provides some relief for others. Considering painful downgrade to Sierra. Hello everyone.

Posted on Nov 18, 2017 11:02 PM

Question marked as Helpful

Nov 3, 2017 1:26 PM in response to ParhamS In response to ParhamS

This is highly unusual after an upgrade of the OS.

Something is wrong, but without any information it is difficult to point to a solution.

That is why you got the "generic response".

Instead of us scratching our heads and ask you questions about your mac and software, why not make it easier for us to help you: make an etrecheck list and post it here:

etrecheck.com

Nov 3, 2017 1:26 PM

Question marked as Helpful

Nov 3, 2017 1:26 PM in response to ParhamS In response to ParhamS

- Parallels12 kext, leftovers?

Virtualbox and LittleSnitch should work in HS, both are not my favourites.

Boom2 may not be fully compatible, not my favourite either.

You could clean up a bit.

- Windowserver needs unusual much of the resources.

Download gfxCardStatus2.3 and start it after startup and set it to irisPro: how does the mac behave;

when not better startup and set gfxCardStatus to Nvidia and see how it behaves.

Nov 3, 2017 1:26 PM

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Nov 2, 2017 3:12 PM in response to ParhamS In response to ParhamS

Hello ParhamS,


Thanks for that info and choosing the Apple Support Communities. Based on what you stated, it seems you are experiencing issues with your Mac and unexpected restarting. To help resolve this issue, please follow the relevant steps in this resource on your situation.


OS X: When your computer spontaneously restarts or displays "Your computer restarted because of a problem."


Cheers!

Nov 2, 2017 3:12 PM

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Question marked as Helpful

Nov 3, 2017 1:26 PM in response to ParhamS In response to ParhamS

This is highly unusual after an upgrade of the OS.

Something is wrong, but without any information it is difficult to point to a solution.

That is why you got the "generic response".

Instead of us scratching our heads and ask you questions about your mac and software, why not make it easier for us to help you: make an etrecheck list and post it here:

etrecheck.com

Nov 3, 2017 1:26 PM

Reply Helpful (1)

Nov 3, 2017 8:31 AM in response to Lexiepex In response to Lexiepex

Thanks

Please notice in the diagnostic report the references to window server, metal and GPU

I really think its either a bug in driver/firmware or the new way MacOS is handling graphics doest work well with 3-4 year old MBPs

EtreCheck version: 3.4.6 (460)

Report generated 2017-11-03 08:55:27

Download EtreCheck from https://etrecheck.com

Runtime: 2:03

Performance: Excellent

Hardware Information:

MacBook Pro (Retina, 15-inch, Late 2013)

MacBook Pro - model: MacBookPro11,3

1 2.3 GHz Intel Core i7 (i7-4850HQ) CPU: 4-core

16 GB RAM Not upgradeable

BANK 0/DIMM0

8 GB DDR3 1600 MHz ok

BANK 1/DIMM0

8 GB DDR3 1600 MHz ok

Handoff/Airdrop2: supported

Wireless: en0: 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac

Battery: Health = Normal - Cycle count = 756

iCloud Quota: 42.00 GB available


Video Information:

Intel Iris Pro - VRAM: 1536 MB

NVIDIA GeForce GT 750M - VRAM: 2 GB

Color LCD 2880 x 1800

LG Ultra HD 2560 x 1440 @ 60 Hz


System Software:

macOS High Sierra 10.13.1 (17B48) - Time since boot: about one day


Kernel Extensions:

/Applications/Boom 2.app

[not loaded] com.globaldelight.driver.Boom2Device (1.2 - SDK 10.10)


/Library/Application Support/VirtualBox

[loaded] org.virtualbox.kext.VBoxDrv (5.2.0)

[loaded] org.virtualbox.kext.VBoxNetAdp (5.2.0)

[loaded] org.virtualbox.kext.VBoxNetFlt (5.2.0)

[loaded] org.virtualbox.kext.VBoxUSB (5.2.0)


/Library/Extensions

[loaded] at.obdev.nke.LittleSnitch (4.0.3 - SDK 10.11)


Top Processes by CPU:

27% IP Camera

19% WindowServer

15% kernel_task

7% mdworker

6% mdworker


Top Processes by Memory:

2.31 GB WindowServer

1.30 GB kernel_task

973 MB IP Camera

599 MB com.apple.WebKit.WebContent

373 MB com.apple.WebKit.WebContent


Top Processes by Network Use:

Input Output Process name

1 MB 67 KB mDNSResponder

3 KB 1 KB netbiosd

0 B 144 B SystemUIServer


Top Processes by Energy Use:

29.38 WindowServer

26.48 IP Camera

20.94 com.apple.WebKit.WebContent

2.82 iTunes


Virtual Memory Information:

4.22 GB Available RAM

81 MB Free RAM

11.78 GB Used RAM

4.14 GB Cached files

0 B Swap Used


Diagnostics Events (last 3 days for minor events):

2017-11-02 13:48:09 Last shutdown cause: 3 - Hard shutdown

2017-11-02 13:43:01 WindowServer Crash

Cause: StartTime:2017-11-01 20:40:19

GPU:IG&NV

MetalDevice for accelerator(0x4bdb): 0x7fbb85339238 (MTLDevice: 0x7fbb88036a00)

MetalDevice for accelerator(0x4f2b): 0x7fbb851117e8 (MTLDevice: 0x7fbb8400ee00)

IOService:/AppleACPIPlatformExpert/PCI0@0/AppleACPIPCI/P0P2@1/IOPP/GFX0@0/NVDA, Display-B@1/NVDA

IOService:/AppleACPIPlatformExpert/PCI0@0/AppleACPIPCI/P0P2@1/IOPP/GFX0@0/NVDA, Display-A@0/NVDA

abort() called

terminating with uncaught exception of type std::__1::system_error: mutex lock failed: Invalid argument

2017-10-27 13:08:17 Kernel Panic

3rd Party Kernel Extensions:

org.virtualbox.kext.VBoxDrv 5.2.0

org.virtualbox.kext.VBoxNetFlt 5.2.0

com.parallels.kext.vnic 12.2.1 31315 (addr 0xffffff7f9a421000, size 32768)

com.parallels.kext.hypervisor 12.2.1 31315 (addr 0xffffff7f9a4d3000, size 217088)

org.virtualbox.kext.VBoxNetAdp 5.2.0

org.virtualbox.kext.VBoxUSB 5.2.0

Nov 3, 2017 8:31 AM

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Question marked as Helpful

Nov 3, 2017 1:26 PM in response to ParhamS In response to ParhamS

- Parallels12 kext, leftovers?

Virtualbox and LittleSnitch should work in HS, both are not my favourites.

Boom2 may not be fully compatible, not my favourite either.

You could clean up a bit.

- Windowserver needs unusual much of the resources.

Download gfxCardStatus2.3 and start it after startup and set it to irisPro: how does the mac behave;

when not better startup and set gfxCardStatus to Nvidia and see how it behaves.

Nov 3, 2017 1:26 PM

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Nov 3, 2017 1:26 PM in response to Lexiepex In response to Lexiepex

Ok. Installed gfx*

Tried the integrated only, initially listed QuickLookUIServe & External Display as requiring discrete.

Killed Finder and unplugged Display -> switched to Integrated only -> Froze -> I restarted


After boot will not remain on integrated only, switches back to discrete only (sys pref is on dynamic)

I'm going to play around with and w/o external display attached to see if it will make a difference.


The Iris card should support the external display... probably at 30Hz

I know 1440+ at 60Hz may be a bit on edge for this system, but 10.12 didnt have this issue.



Switching back to 10.12 will be quite the headache. Reformat to non-APFS... the firmwares may have been irreversibly updated

Nov 3, 2017 1:26 PM

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Nov 3, 2017 3:57 PM in response to ParhamS In response to ParhamS

the firmwares may have been irreversibly updated

At least in the case of the Mac Pro desktop silver tower, the firmware upgrade appears to be completely compatible with all older things. it does not have to be reversed -- it is backward-compatible.

Nov 3, 2017 3:57 PM

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Nov 5, 2017 10:06 PM in response to ParhamS In response to ParhamS

I'm experiencing very similar problems. Video performance is very very poor since I updated to High Sierra. Using an external monitor is virtually impossible as the system freezes up very quickly.


The update to 10.13.1 seemed to fix a memory leak in the WindowServer process in 10.13 (which was hogging more and more RAM) - I was hoping this would be the main culprit, but apparently not. In spite of that fix I'm *still* having significant graphics performance issues - and I don't even use any graphics-intensive apps (Photoshop, FCP etc).


Simple things like resizing windows is very laggy, watching videos on Youtube or similar periodically freeze/jump. Typing on this forum page is lagging too...!


I have filed a bug report with Apple hoping that they will see enough complaints to be able to do something about it, but haven't received any acknowledgement from them (4 days and counting). I encourage you to do so too, though I believe you may need a developer account: Bug Report - Apple


Posting here so that others might find this and add their specs if they are experiencing similar issues (or report on improvements in upcoming betas of 10.13.x etc...).


MacBook Pro (Retina, 15-inch, Mid 2014)

2.8 GHz Intel Core i7

16 GB 1600 MHz DDR3

NVIDIA GeForce GT 750M 2 GB

Intel Iris Pro 1536 MB

Nov 5, 2017 10:06 PM

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Nov 9, 2017 8:37 PM in response to ParhamS In response to ParhamS

Further to my previous post, I've tried to run some GPU-related benchmarks. Looks like the on-board graphics (Intel Iris Pro 1536 MB) is out-performing the GPU (NVIDIA GeForce GT 750M 2 GB).


Has anyone else tried to run GPU benchmarks or come up with another way of measuring this?


For ref:

Intel Iris Pro 1536 MB: https://browser.geekbench.com/v4/compute/1358920

NVIDIA GeForce GT 750M 2 GB: https://browser.geekbench.com/v4/compute/1358929

Nov 9, 2017 8:37 PM

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Nov 10, 2017 12:27 AM in response to DaveHowden In response to DaveHowden

Except for power, the discrete GPU has more more memory.

The GPU's are switched automatically when necessary (e.g. when starting Adobe Lightroom or such).

I don't believe in these benchmarks.

edit: and be aware that discrete Graphics can be repaired, for on board GPU the whole board has to be replaced, which is extremely expensive.

Nov 10, 2017 12:27 AM

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Nov 10, 2017 2:31 AM in response to Lexiepex In response to Lexiepex

I use a 4K external display which must be driven by the NVIDIA GPU, and I'm seeing the performance degradation all the time on High Sierra. The whole OS is very jittery and laggy: resizing windows, switching tabs in web browser, etc... Having looked through a few forums, it seems like quite a number of people are also experiencing performance issues using the same or similar MacBook Pro (mid 2014) with the NVIDIA GeForce GT 750M GPU Card.


I realise that these benchmarks may be something of a gimmick but "my UI is jittery, youtube videos aren't playing as smoothly as before" is quite vague and there are quite number of explanations for those symptoms. I'm trying to find some repeatable way to demonstrate that the problem exists, and also hopefully some way of quantifying the effect on performance. That way it should be easy to get everyone with the same problem to file bug report/support requests that are actionable.


So... I've just taken the plunge and switched back to Sierra to run some tests. Graphics performance is back to normal, and everything is running smoothly - so it doesn't look like a hardware issue (at least not for me).


In the spirit of attempting to compare "like for like", I ran the same GPU benchmark on the same laptop on Sierra 10.12.6: https://browser.geekbench.com/v4/compute/1359623. From a quick scan of the results:


* High Sierra gets better numbers for the tests that it can run (Metal2 is supposed to bring improvements over Metal).

* High Sierra can't run one of the tests (though Sierra can run it). Given that these tests are normally designed to cover a wide range of functionality between them, this could indicate that there is some feature implementation missing for this GPU on High Sierra, or the implementation isn't sufficient to run the test.


So not absolutely conclusive, but it does show the difference between the GPU performance on the two systems.


I'm interested if anyone has any other ideas of tests/benchmarks that might help narrow this down. Now that I can switch between 10.12.6 and 10.13 it's relatively easy for me to try things on both and compare. If we can find a definite way to show that it's an issue, it should be much easier for Apple to fix. My support requests and bug reports have not gotten me anywhere so far but I'm going to add this latest benchmark and hope for the best!

Nov 10, 2017 2:31 AM

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Nov 10, 2017 2:47 AM in response to DaveHowden In response to DaveHowden

I did the exact same thing: switched back to Sierra and everything is smooth again. Unfortunately I didn't run any tests but Im pretty sure you're on to something here. BTW I have a Late 2013 Macbook Pro which is using the same GeForce 750M graphic card.

Nov 10, 2017 2:47 AM

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Nov 10, 2017 12:56 PM in response to Lexiepex In response to Lexiepex

I'm almost sure this is a software issue introduced in 10.13.

I downgraded back to 10.12 and graphics are very smooth (for a Mac)


The issue seems to be with discrete graphics utilization in 10.13. I understand they made a lot of changes for metal 2 & allow external cards now. This can very well be where the bugs are residing.


The performance shortcomings are similar to memory leaks (graphics memory leak?)

After loading graphic heavy webpages, the UI slows down and is jumpy, even when CPU usage is low and only background system processors are active. Logging off or restarting fixes the issue, utill the next slow down.


Given that graphics issues are rampant (and also APFS takes away more than it gives, IMO) I'll probably stay with 10.12 for the foreseeable future. 10.13 really turned me off to upgrading for the 1st time on Mac. (iOS 9 did that for iphone;)

Nov 10, 2017 12:56 PM

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Nov 10, 2017 1:23 PM in response to ParhamS In response to ParhamS

The performance shortcomings are similar to memory leaks (graphics memory leak?)

... there is said to be a memory leak problem in graphics, fixed in 10.13.1, available a few days ago.


NVIDIA is very proprietary about the detailed operation of their graphics processors, insists on doing the Drivers themselves, and are almost always so late that they cannot be included with the main MacOS releases.


NVIDIA Users have gotten in the habit of getting them direct from NVIDIA, when they eventually become available.


10.13 really turned me off to upgrading for the 1st time on Mac.

if you had asked Users here, they would tell you to wait for at least the nn.1 release, and then upgrade only when you need the features offered. Otherwise you are on the "bleeding" edge of new technology introduction.

Nov 10, 2017 1:23 PM

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Question: Slow Graphics Performance MacOS High Sierra